WWI service of the McKerihan boys leaves a lasting impact

(From left) Mathew, Roland (Rolly) behind his mum Mary (nee Kirkwood), Walter (Wally) and Bill McKerihan.
(From left) Mathew, Roland (Rolly) behind his mum Mary (nee Kirkwood), Walter (Wally) and Bill McKerihan.

As ANZAC Day approaches we remember the McKerihan boys Mathew, Rolly, Wally and Bill – all born, reared and deceased in Tenterfield – and their mother Mary, also at rest in Tenterfield cemetery.

Bill passed away in the later part of the 1920’s from diabetes brought on, it was said, through his war service.

Perry, Wally and Bill all served in the 33rd Battalion, 3rd Australian Division, and saw action on the Western Front. All suffered a variety of wounds but were returned to Australia and went back to their trade as shearers with Perry (the eldest) being the contractor.

Roland served with the 14th Field Ambulance in both the Middle East and on the Western Front and what he saw during his service affected him for the rest of his life.

The eldest of the boys and a sister were born on Glen-Lyon Station where their father was a slaughter-man/butcher. The younger – with a sister, the late Mrs Alice Hartnup who lived in Miles Street until the late 1980’s – were born on Tenterfield Station after the family moved.

Pictured below is Corporal Jack McKerihan from WWII, taken in New Guinea where he served with the 2nd/2nd Infantry Battalion. This photograph (on file with the Australian War Museum) was taken as Jack was watching Japanese troop movements at But aerodrome, New Guinea.

Jack returned to Tenterfield after the war and later moved to Brisbane.

Corporal Jack McKerihan.

Corporal Jack McKerihan.

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